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Yachting Safety In Question

A CORONER has recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest into the death of Barrow-in-Furness yachtsman Michael Walker who died when his boat capsized while racing on Windermere in March.

But South Lakes coroner Cyril Prickett said he had concerns that the yacht, The Hitchhiker, owned and skippered in the Windermere Cruising Association race by Paul Harkness, had not received a "spot check" by the WCA in 15 years of winter series racing.

He was also concerned about the lack of a WCA safety boat at the event - even though he said a safety boat would have made little difference because of the speed of the events that overwhelmed The Hitchhiker and its crew.

He said he would be passing a report on the accident to health and safety authorities in order that they might provide safety guidance for yacht clubs and crews.

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